(1) Gelfand,B (2739) - Howell,D (2616) [A29]
4th NH Chess Tournament Amsterdam NED (6), 18.08.2010
My opponent tried to improve on Topalov's play with this move, however I think it is premature as it weakens his pawns.
This is the opening from the 11th game of the World Championship match between Anand and Topalov this May.
Now the b7 pawn becomes vulnerable. With the pawn still on a7, he would have the option of playing b6.
Black's plan is to play Bd5 and take control of the diagonal so I played
[Black could take with 14...exd4
but this would be very dangerous because after 16.Nxe6
I have fantastic compensation for the pawn with the two bishops and the open position. I would play Be3 followed by Rfd1 and Rac1. A kind of Catalan, but a very good kind.]
He now played
but after [He doesn't have the time to play 15...f5?
because of 16.d5
I take control because the bishop cannot hold its position as the knight will kick it off.
is a good intermediary move since he must protect it with
It is now difficult for him to protect the position from all sides.
I was happy to have provoked this because it weakens the king which will be telling in the long run. [If he had played 18...b6
instead, I would have 19.cxb6
winning a pawn.; or 18...Ne7
Black's position collapses.]
[Another move was 21.Ne3
to prevent Bh3 as in the game. (21...bxc5?
isn't possible because of 22.dxc5
and it is very difficult for Black to withstand all this pressure.]
The point behind 21.Bh3.
This exchanges off his strong bishop but more importantly it frees up the option of advancing d5.
is unplayable due to 27.Qb3
and White wins a pawn.]
The problem is that whichever piece he takes with on c8 is one that helped control the d5 square.
A key move preparing d5.
The loss of a pawn with
is protected by the tactic
Black's position has so many weaknesses, I believe that a pawn loss is probably forced.
A nice move. It will join the attack now.
This blunders a pawn, but even without this the position was absolutely won.